Very Special Birthday for 76 yr old foodie
76th birthday for a very special person ... There will be 8 of us and Babbo can't accomodate 8, Blue Hill can't accomodate 8 and has an over the top minimum for their private room, Cru can't accomodate 8, (seems to be a pattern).
Need to book ASAP as it's a Friday night in August.
Looking for any suggestions
I used to have to a dinner club for eight, so I understand your problem. Bolo, Aquagrill, Mercer Kitchen and Veritas were all accommodating and all have worthy meals. Bolo and Veritas were the only round tables (which I prefer). You might also try Bouley and Danube. I think Bolo is your best bet given the timing.
Although I have enjoyed the food at Bolo, I wouldn't choose it to celebrate a special occasion. And, in my estimation, it doesn't come close to matching Veritas's cuisine quality, extraordinary wine list, professional service, and overall ambiance. Since it is summertime, and many people are away, you might have good luck scoring a table at Veritas.
Eleven Madison Park is definitely a place to celebrate an occasion. Chef Humm's French-inspired cuisine is exquisite, the wine list is excellent, service is exceptional, and the space is gorgeous. It is, of course, way larger than Veritas, so I'd really be surprised if you can't get a reservation in August. In fact, someone just reported on this board about getting a last minute table the same evening.
Another excellent option is Cafe Boulud. Superb cuisine, fine wine list, polished service, and attractive surroundings. Much less ostentatious than Daniel, but still definitely in the "Let's celebrate" category.
I am the last minute Eleven Madison Park diner (see my posting from yesterday). Summer in the city helps to open reservation books so give it a try. It was exquisite. There were a few groups of 6-8 having dinner this past Friday night. There are lots of ways they can group tables for a party of 8. Good luck
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Craft has tables for 8 and because of it's family-style dining, it's an excellent place for a large crowd. You can end up tasting 15 or 20 different dishes in one night.